Bedbuyer™ is Australia’s largest online bedding resource, and leading independent mattress review website. Our site contains over 1500 mattress reviews, conducted by our expert team of health professionals and who are all experienced in clinical patient care and mattress assessment.
This article outlines the details of Bedbuyer’s Review Process.
All of the mattress reviews listed on Bedbuyer are 100% independent and unbiased. To eliminate any element of bias, we do not receive any money or financial reward for undertaking our mattress reviews. Bedbuyer is fully committed to providing genuine and trustworthy information to help Australian consumers get the right mattress for their individual needs.
Bedbuyer’s team of health professionals conduct mattress reviews at respective retail stores throughout Australia. Bedbuyer also conducts reviews on ‘mattress in a box’ products, where samples have been provided. Where possible, members of Bedbuyer’s review team will sleep on mattresses as part of the testing process, but this is not always possible, particularly with retail store mattresses.
To give you an indication of how firm or soft a mattress is, our team assigns a number of on our ‘firmness scale’. This allows you to compare firmness levels between mattresses which may assist in your selection.
In many of our mattress reviews, we have included a firmness scale diagram to illustrate this, for example the following graphic reflects a ‘medium-firm’ feel with a 7/10 firmness rating (where 10 is the firmest):
Please note that our firmness ratings are to be used as a guide and that 2 mattresses can have the same firmness rating, but ‘feel’ quite different. Furthermore, ‘softness’ (e.g. 4 / 10 on our firmness scale) does not necessarily relate to ‘comfort’. Some firmer mattresses are actually quite comfortable so firmness and comfort are not necessarily related.
It’s important to note also that our firmness ratings are assigned based on Bedbuyer’s testing process and these may differ from firmness ratings given by individual companies.
It’s worth noting here also that mattress firmness, performance, and durability will vary with different bed bases.
When we talk about how ‘responsive’ a mattress is, this relates to how the mattress moves (responds) to normal sleep movements. A good mattress should should allow us to change positions effortlessly during sleep.
Mattresses with excessive responsiveness feel overly bouncy and can create abnormal levels of partner disturbance. On the other hand, mattresses with little or no responsiveness, make it difficult to move between sleeping positions, and make intimate activities more laboursome.
Inadequate or excessive responsiveness is seen as undesirable from a comfort and usability standpoint.
In many of our mattress reviews, we have included a responsiveness scale diagram to give an indication of how nicely the mattress responds to sleep movements. For example, the following graphic reflects a level of responsiveness that is close to optimal:
Bedbuyer aims to assess each mattress individually, but also in context of the market. Our reviews include an ‘easy to understand’ written summary as well as an overall star rating. Bedbuyer also rates each mattress in five separate categories that we have identified are most meaningful to Australian consumers. These categories are:
- Spinal Support
- Build Quality
- Partner Disturbance
- Value For Money
Bedbuyer’s expert review team assess the comfort level on each mattress subjectively. We make a determination as to how pleasurable the mattress is to lie on in a full range of positions – back, side, and front, plus different versions of each of these! Some mattresses absorb body weight beautifully, minimising pressure on the spine, shoulders, and hips.
Some mattresses do not provide an adequate level of pressure relief, nor does the mattress absorb body weight evenly. Based on a recent survey conducted by Bedbuyer, comfort was the most important thing that people considered when purchasing a new mattress.
Our checklist for this category includes:
- Comfort in a side lying position noting pressure on shoulders, pelvis, and hips
- Comfort in a front lying position noting pressure on shoulders, pelvis, and hips
- Comfort in a back lying position noting pressure on shoulders, pelvis, and hips
- Comfort during normal positional changes (e.g. back lying to side lying)
- Level of responsiveness and ease of movement during normal positional changes
- Overall feel and weight absorption of the top layer
Bedbuyer places a high level of importance on spinal support as this greatly influences the health and condition of the spine. We determine how well the mattress maintains the spine in a healthy position. This is done through subjective feel, careful observation, photographs, and measurements to detect how well each mattress allows the spine and body to rest in a healthy, neutral position. As with comfort, spinal support is assessed in a range of positions:
- Spinal support in a side lying position
- Spinal support in a front lying position
- Spinal support in a back lying position
- Spinal support during positional changes (e.g. back lying to side lying)
- Overall consideration of spinal support that the mattress offers
This relates to the quality of the materials in the mattress. Some mattresses feel cheap and flimsy, whilst others feel strong, sturdy, and will likely last many years. Using years of experience and careful examination, we will give an indication here as to the overall quality of the product. Bedbuyer’s Review Process involves an assessment of each mattress on the following criteria:
- Quality and durability of external materials used (e.g. comfort layers, outer cover, foams, fabrics)
- Quality and durability of internal materials used (e.g. spring system, foams)
- Edge support – quality of the outer edge of the mattress and how it supports the body in a lying and seated position
- General sturdiness of the mattress – does it feel solid or does it feel flimsy?
- Any special or advanced technology that is integrated into the mattress (e.g. unique spring system, positional controls, special foams).
- Are the materials used anti-bacterial or hypoallergenic?
- Are the materials used likely to disperse body heat effectively to prevent overheating during sleep?
This is an important aspect for many bed shoppers as a restless partner can certainly result in poor sleep. Here we test each mattress to see what the level of disruption is during partner movements. Some mattresses exhibit a very low level of partner disturbance, and other mattresses more noticeably with partner movements. As part of Bedbuyer’s Review Process, we test partner disturbance using:
- A simple, subjective measure of how much disturbance there is with partner movements
- Using water bottles or glasses to observe vibrational movements
- Using a vibrational measuring application on a smartphone
Value for Money
As part of Bedbuyer’s Review Process, we give a rating on value. This is relevant for any bed shopper so you can see how the mattress stacks up when it comes to the asking price. There is a huge range of prices in mattresses from a few hundred dollars, all the way to up over $20,000, so this rating category will guide you in terms of value for money. Specifically, we consider:
- Based on the quality of the mattress, does this represent good value for money?
- Based on the market, does this mattress represent good value for money?
- Based on service, delivery process, and any after sales service (e.g. return/refund options), does this mattress represent good value for money?
- Based on practical elements (comfort, support, and partner disturbance) does this mattress represent good value for money?
We hope that this has provided a thorough description of Bedbuyer’s Review Process but if you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
*PLEASE NOTE: Mattress in a box products are reviewed in comparison with other mattress in a box products. Their ratings should not be compared with our ratings of mattresses in retail stores. This is to help customers compare mattress in a box options more easily as they have unique methods of shipping, delivery, and trial periods which are not offered by retail stores.
Bedbuyer is Australia’s largest bedding website and leading independent mattress review group. To read our disclosure and disclaimer statement, click here.